April 26, 2007

Monta Ellis increased his scoring average by nearly 10 points from his rookie to his sophomore season.
Monta Ellis of the Golden State Warriors was named the winner of the 2006-07 NBA Most Improved Player Award, the NBA announced today. The annual award is presented to a player who has made a dramatic improvement from the previous season or seasons.

Ellis received a total of 352 points, including 47 first-place votes, from a panel of 129 sportswriters and broadcasters throughout the United States and Canada. The Sacramento Kings’ Kevin Martin finished second with 349 points (44 first-place votes) followed by the Utah Jazz’s Deron Williams with 101 points (13 first-place votes). Players were awarded five points for each first-place vote, three points for each second-place vote and one point for each third place vote received. This is the closest finish in the history of the award since 1990-91 when Scott Skiles of Orlando edged out Kevin Gamble of Boston by four votes

After averaging 6.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists and .415 shooting for the Warriors in 2005-06, Ellis increased his scoring by 9.7 points (16.5 ppg) – the largest increase in the NBA this season -- to go along with his averages of 3.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.71 steals. Starting 53 of the 77 games he appeared in, Ellis reached double figures in scoring 68 times, including 24 games of 20 or more points. The 6-3 guard recorded three or more steals 20 times and had at least five steals three times, including a career-high six at Seattle (March 17).

Improving From Year One To Year Two

06-07 77-53 .475 .273 .763 243 3.2 319 4.1 132 1.70 1272 16.5
05-06 49-3 .415 .341 .712 105 2.1 78 1.6 32 0.60 334 6.8


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Selected by the Warriors in the second round of the 2005 NBA Draft (40th overall), Ellis was second only to Chris Paul (17.2 ppg) of the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets in scoring among players from that Draft class. Ellis also noticed a significant increase in his assist numbers as he dished five or more assists 33 times, including a career-high 13 at the Los Angeles Clippers (Feb. 24).

Ellis is the second player in Warriors franchise history to win the award. In 2002-03, Gilbert Arenas edged out Utah's Matt Harpring to secure the award in what was also his second season in the league.

The Warriors' Andris Biedrins finished fifth in the voting for 2006-07 Most Improved Player, garnering 64 points and eight first-place votes. The 21-year old center averaged 9.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game for Golden State while averaging more than twice as many minutes as he did in 2005-06.

For a complete listing of Most Improved Player Award winners, plus this year's voting results, read below:


1985-86 : Alvin Robertson, San Antonio
1986-87: Dale Ellis, Seattle
1987-88: Kevin Duckworth, Portland
1988-89: Kevin Johnson, Phoenix
1989-90: Rony Seikaly, Miami
1990-91: Scott Skiles, Orlando
1991-92: Pervis Ellison, Washington
1992-93: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Denver
1993-94: Don MacLean, Washington
1994-95: Dana Barros, Philadelphia
1995-96: Gheorghe Muresan, Washington
1996-97: Isaac Austin, Miami
1997-98 : Alan Henderson, Atlanta
1998-99: Darrell Armstrong, Orlando
1999-00: Jalen Rose, Indiana
2000-01: Tracy McGrady, Orlando
2001-02: Jermaine O’Neal, Indiana
2002-03: Gilbert Arenas, Golden State
2003-04: Zach Randolph, Portland
2004-05: Bobby Simmons, L.A. Clippers
2005-06: Boris Diaw, Phoenix
2006-07: Monta Ellis, Golden State


Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd Pts
Monta Ellis, Golden State 47 37 15 352
Kevin Martin, Sacramento 44 38 15 349
Deron Williams, Utah 13 6 18 101
Tyson Chandler, New Orleans/OKC 6 11 9 72
Andris Biedrins, Golden State 8 4 12 64
Al Jefferson, Boston 2 13 13 62
Luol Deng, Chicago 2 7 13 44
Leandro Barbosa, Phoenix 3 3 0 24
Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 1 2 3 14